Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Guard against shrinkages, businesses warned

Andrew Chekani

Kimberly
Kusauka

The
Masvingo Business Community has lamented theft by employees and customers saying
these were among the major factors contributing to business shrinkage.

This
came out at a business shrinkage management workshop held at Reformed Church University
(RCU) where a number of solutions were discussed.

Other
causes of shrinkages that were noted include administrative errors, fraud,
false payments, alterations, overbilling, rising operational costs and breakages.

The
two presenters Dr Oscar Chagwiza of the RCU Department of Commerce and N. Richards
Group (NRG) director Andrew Chekani urged businesses to improve their
management systems to reduce shrinkages

Among
these concerns were issues to do with theft by employees and customers as well
as administrative errors, fraud and breakages.

Dr
Chagwiza said businesses should hire thoughtfully, use cameras, rotate
employees, having and witnesses whenever discounts or refunds are being done.

Hiring is an important aspect in business but
before hiring, an organization must have a hiring policy based on establishment
and range of activities and employee
assignments should be rotated to
avoid over familiarisation which may
open up pilferage routes.

When hiring, vetting is needed lest you hire
a criminal. Vetting methods includ police clearance, reference letters from
school head and pastor is important
,” said Chagwiza.

He
warned against specialisation which he said opened pilferage routes and may
lead to special arrangements with fraudsters.

While specialisation brings efficiency,
over-familiarization with a system within one department may open up pilferage
routes. Employees must be deployed at the commencement of duty, especially till
operators. This minimises ‘special arrangements’ with customers-cum-fraudsters
,”
said Chagwiza.

In
his presentation, Chekani said businesses especially those operating in the
retail sector should have efficient operating systems.

“If
you can’t put proper systems and controls in your retail business, you would
rather close the door to the customers until you are up to date without delay
unless if your goal has shifted to turning your enterprise into a charitable
organization.

“If
opportunities are left on the table for employees to steal, they would surely
steal. You can’t afford to have high shrinkage, otherwise your business will be
shrunk and kicked out of the competitive turf,” said Chekani.

The
shrinkage management conference was attended by both small and large retailers
in Masvingo which include OK Mart, OK Zimbabwe and N Richards Group of stores.

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